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MSP wins backing for sunbed Bill

The Scottish government has agreed to support a Labour backbencher's bid to ban unmanned sunbed salons.

Ken Macintosh, the MSP for Eastwood, has been campaigning for sunbed salons to be licensed.

He has put forward proposals for a Members' Bill on the issue - which last year won the backing of more than half of all MSPs.

The SNP administration has announced that it is bringing forward a Public Health Bill, and it has confirmed it is to discuss how Mr Macintosh's ideas could be incorporated in to it.

If these are then backed by MSPs it could mean unmanned tanning salons and coin-operated sunbeds are banned, while children under 18 would be prohibited from using sunbeds.

Mr Macintosh said: "We don't let children drink or smoke. Why are we exposing them to radiation which we know is dangerous for their long-term health?

"More and more Scots are suffering from skin cancer and we need to get a simple message across - tanning is not healthy."

A Scottish government spokeswoman said the number of cases of skin cancer had increased by 46% among men and by 21% among women in the last 10 years.

She said: "We are interested in the proposals recently brought forward by Kenneth Macintosh to regulate sunbed use and have been discussing further with him how we might work together to bring forward suitable proposals which will highlight the dangers of sunbed use to the public."

Scottish government

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Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"With our knowledge of skin damage through the sun and the increase of skin cancer I am surprise that sunbed are allowed to be used at all. Perhaps people who continue to use them should sign a disclaimer that when they get skin cancer they pay for their own treatment......just a thought." - Name and address supplied

"Ten minutes of natural sunlight a day is all anyone needs to ensure their skin has absorbed their daily recommended allowance of the goodness the sun provides such as Vitamin D, even throughout a British winter. Sunbed use is therefore mainly used for aesthetics. Even if you use them in moderation you are still running a risk of skin cancer and if you are happy with that, be my guest. This Bill has been long awaited and the quicker it is imposed the better" - Name and address supplied

"I am not saying indoor sunbeds are safe but I've always believed if you use them correctly, they are safer than expose from the sun. And yes, under-18s should not use sunbeds at all" - Name and address supplied